Highgate residents protest at church’s building plans

Angry Highgate residents have launched a petition to save a prized orchard after a church announced controversial plans to build on it.

Angry Highgate residents have launched a petition to save a prized orchard after a church announced controversial plans to build on it.

St. Joseph’s RC church, in Highgate Hill, wrote to parishioners during the summer of proposals to construct housing on the large patch of open land.

But residents, who saw off a similar plan in a bitter dispute four years ago, say it will deprive the community of treasured open space, and devastate a vital bird habitat.

Laura Ivory, a parishioner who has launched a petition and website to rally neighbours against the plans, was one of around 50 residents who turned up to an impromptu protest last Sunday against the proposals.


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She said: “Some people have stopped coming to mass about it. I know some people are changing churches because they are so disappointed.

“But people are frightened to come forward because they are scared their children won’t get a reference form the priest for schools.

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“This plan will mean less community space for residents, and less open land for birds. We are totally against it.”

St. Joseph’s insist the development is necessary to raise much needed funds to plough into the restoration of the 19th Century church.

Phil Baxter from United House, the developer who is bringing forward the proposals said: “We are acutely aware of the sensitive setting of the area and, importantly, how any development relates to both the church itself and the neighbouring primary school.”

To view the petition visit www.savestjosephs.com

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